After the recent weather-related fiasco, like many of my peers and others across the North Atlantic and New England, I took photos of the damage. The downed trees, smashed car windows, and power outages made the city look like a war zone, and the unusual October snow was also worth documenting. Also like most, I posted some of my documentation on Facebook. One of my professors had done the same and was talking about it before class. “…I put them on Facebook,” she paused and looked around blankly with a faint smile. “Why do we do this?” she asked abruptly.
It is a funny thing. Before the Internet, would we have gone out of our way to show everyone our photos of weather-related damage in the area? Probably not.
Something else related to the event was the power outages. I know someone who lost power for a few days and was at her house when it went out. Immediately, she said, “Oh, I’ll just get online and check to see when…” Oh. Right. The internet. Wireless router. Two and two came together, and she realized just how much of an inconvenience it was. Many I’ve talked to have experienced this same feeling that comes with that – the sensation that you’re missing out. Somehow, just when you lose that lifeline to the world and are isolated to just what’s immediately around you, surely everything is happening elsewhere. And you’re missing out on it. I’m not just talking about what status updates your friends posted, but all the news and important world events taking place. Surely you’ve missed out on something important. What if…
But then, once your Clark Mail is back at your fingertips, CNN tells you the rest of the world still exists, and you catch up on all the mundane crap your friends are doing (and all their photos of the downed trees), you can rest easy. Ah, the internet.